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Running Head: NURSING PHILOSOPHY

A Personal Philosophy of Nursing


Christie Macey
October 23, 2014
James Madison University

NURSING PHILOSOPHY

Nursing has a rich history that has continually redefined its role for centuries. Beginning
with Florence Nightingale, the personal philosophy of each nursing theorist has contributed to its
meaning. Today, its definition is to maintain and promote health, prevent harm, and to
minimalize distress through the holistic treatment of human responses. In addition, it involves
setting health goals while simultaneously serving the best interest for all involved (American
Nurses Association, 2014). These actions can be accomplished by Nightingales idea of meeting
the fundamental needs of each patient (Craven, 2013). If basic needs are not being met, it will be
challenging to solve more complex health issues. Meeting elementary needs may include
adjusting the environment to enhance comfort. For example, opening a window or removing a
dirty food tray. I have experienced the positive effect making a bed or selecting a clean outfit
has on patient attitude. It increases confidence, reduces anxiety, and promotes self-worth.
Addressing basic needs improves a patents chances for achieving optimum health and is the
foundation from which nursing definitions are based.
Nursing definition sets the framework for various nursing roles. I hope to perform under
the nursing scope of the Metaparadigm by focusing on nursing interventions. Exceptional
interventions convert several nursing concepts into practice and have major implications on
health status. Developing quality care plans and implementing effective interventions demands
advanced knowledge (American Nurses Association, 2010). One way to develop this
competency is by investing in the relationships formed with patients. A study conducted by the
University of Otago in New Zealand in 2012 revealed older patients regarded the bond formed
with nurses more highly than any other form of care they provided. These patients who
experienced a connection with their nurses stated the relationship motivated them to increase
participation in physical therapy (Tyrrell, 2012). Therefore, I would like to practice within the

NURSING PHILOSOPHY

nursing component of the Metaparadigm by emphasizing strong interpersonal relations because


it may lead to improved outcomes.
Another way I aspire to achieve better quality results is by working within the
MesoSystem component of the JMU Undergraduate Nursing Curricular Model. Relatives are
often the primary caregivers for patients. Therefore, it is critical that the family is provided with
the knowledge and skills required to properly manage care. Without this information, treatment
for their family member may be negatively impacted. For example, if an individual is diagnosed
with depression and the family does not understand the disease involves complex altered brain
chemistry, they might falsely believe the individual is acting differently on purpose. This could
result in blame instead of emotional support or treatment.
In order to solve this problem and others similar to it, a literature review of family
education in the acute care setting conducted in 2013 by the American Nurses Credentialing
Center suggested that adequate family education can be provided by examining each individuals
role within the context of the family, identifying each members belief about the illness, as well
as taking into consideration learning style, development, and personal strengths and weaknesses
(Cameron, 2013). Topics discussed should include available resources, coping tactics, and safety
at home (Cameron, 2013). Facilitation of this learning can be enhanced by utilizing various
forms of education materials and supporting interactional learning (Cameron, 2013).
Furthermore, if family members feel their perspective is valued it will engage them and
increase retention of the lesson (Cameron, 2013). It will also allow the nurse to identify any
unmet needs the family is experiencing which can improve symptom management and course of
treatment (Cameron, 2013). The concept of interpersonal relations enhancing family education
is so powerful it has been suggested one nurse remain assigned to a family for the entire course

NURSING PHILOSOPHY

of treatment for stroke patients in acute care strictly for educational purposes. This individualized
attention is believed to increase the effectiveness of education, provide reliability, and give
access to a knowledgeable and engaged resource (Cameron, 2013).
Additionally, the particular culture and religion of the family should be considered. For
example, Muslim women may prefer to only be seen by a female health care professional
(Taheri, 2008). If this wish is not respected, it could disintegrate trust and provoke hostility.
Likewise, Jehovah Witnesses are a Christian denomination that rejects blood transfusions
(Jehovah Witnesses, 2014). Other things to consider within this MesoSystem model of care are
family values on nutrition, exercise, and holistic medicine. Wishes of the family in these
instances must be considered and remain free of judgment in order to provide culturally sensitive
care.
The ANA Scope and Standards of Practice and the ANA Code of Ethics call for
increased evidence based practice (Peterson, 2014). Therefore, best practice in regards to the
MesoSystem component of the JMU Undergraduate Nursing Curricular Model should be
implemented. One way best practice can be incorporated is by utilizing a Family Partnership
Model (FNP) (Fowler, 2012). In 2012, A group of 22 nurse participants completed a 5 day
training program about FNP published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing. The method is
currently used in many pediatrics departments in Australia. The framework involves the
formation of a team between parents and nurses. The parents function as co-participants because
they have situational understanding about their childs health history and abilities no one else can
provide (Fowler, 2012). This increases parental involvement and prevents passivity. The value is
no longer placed on the wisdom of the nurse but is instead shifted to equally regarding the
information shared by the parents. The common goal of the team members cannot be reached

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without trust, understanding of expectations, and a shared sense of responsibility (Fowler, 2012).
This modification promotes confidence within the family and builds nursing knowledge by
allowing for the creation of a more customized plan of care (Fowler, 2012).
Personally, I see my role in nursing as improving nursing interventions by maximizing
interpersonal relationships within the Metaparadigm and by focusing on family education in
order to advance care under the scope of JMU Undergraduate Nursing Curriculum Model.
Currently, I lack the knowledge and experience to identify and properly perform specific
interventions and provide family education. However, by practicing critical thinking, expanding
baseline knowledge, and fine tuning my communication abilities I can better achieve my goals.
In regards to my nursing future, I desire to specialize in pediatrics because it places
emphasis on educating family members. Children are almost entirely dependent on external
sources of care so it is vital that family relations are not stressed. Forming interpersonal
relationships with patients is also very relevant to pediatrics. Children may be frightened of
needles, scans, or may be generally anxious about their surroundings. A strong relationship with
a nurse may help soothe these issues and reduce their stress. Involvement in personal and family
life is a privilege unique to nursing and should be fully experienced because it is one of the
greatest joys of the profession.

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References

American Nurses Association (ANA). (2010). Nurses social policy statement: The
essence of the profession. Silver Spring, MD. Retrieved from
http://www.nursingworld.org
American Nurses Association (ANA). (2014) What is Nursing? Retrieved
October 20, 2014, from http://www.nursingworld.org/EspeciallyForYou/What-is-Nursing
Cameron, V. (2013). Best practices for stroke patient and family education in the
acute care setting: A literature review. Med Surg Nursing, 22(1), 51-55.
Craven, R. (2013). The Profession of Nursing. In Fundamentals of nursing:
Human health and function (7th ed., p. 955). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer
Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Do Jehovah's Witnesses Accept Medical Treatment? (2014, January 1). Retrieved
October 23, 2014, from http://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/jehovahswitnesses-medical-treatment/
Fowler, C., Rossiter, C., Bigsby, M., Hopwood, N., Lee, A., & Dunston, R, et al.
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Peterson, M., Barnason, S., Donnelly, B., Hill, K., Miley, H., Riggs, L., &
Whiteman, K. (2014). Choosing the best evidence to guide clinical practice: Application
of AACN levels of evidence. Critical Care Nurse, 34(2), 58-68.
http://dx.doi.org/10.4037/ccn2014411
Taheri, N. (2008, May 1). Health Care in Islamic History and Experience.
Retrieved October 23, 2014, from http://ethnomed.org/cross-culturalhealth/religion/health-care-in-islamic-history-and-experience
Tyrrell, E., Levack, W., Ritchie, L., & Keeling, S. (2012). Nursing contribution to
the rehabilitation of older patients: Patient and family perspectives. Journal of Advanced
Nursing, 68(11), 2466-2476. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2648.2012.05944.x